If you don’t already know who The Residents are, you probably won’t dig this pREServed Edition. Produced with The Cryptic Corporation using archival tapes supplied by The Residents themselves, this package explores and expands the classic 1980 album – the record which cemented The Residents’ reputation as avant-garde conceptual cultural observers. Including unheard outtakes, live rehearsals, re-workings and live interpretations, this is The Residents as we’ve always wanted to hear them. Bonus material includes unused period recordings (including several one-minute pieces), live-in-the-studio material and concert recordings.
The album pares down the concept and structure of the average commercial pop song and reduces it to a one-minute redux. It contains a compilation of 40 such sixty-second vignettes. The recording session featured Chris Cutler, Snakefinger (who sings lead on many tracks) and Fred Frith as well as two previously-uncredited guest vocalists, Lene Lovich (“Picnic Boy”) and Andy Partridge (“Margaret Freeman”). The extensive liner notes to this pREServed Edition confirm the long-held assertion that Brian Eno played synthesizer on “The Coming Of The Crow” and that David Byrne sang harmony vocals on “Suburban Bathers.”
The liner notes state that songs should be repeated three times in a row to form a pop song.
The Residents purchased 40 one-minute advertising slots on San Francisco’s most popular Top-40 radio station at the time, KFRC. The station played each track of the album over three days.
The faces on the album cover are John Travolta and Barbra Streisand.